The Bin Laden 'Arab Spring' Tape Drops

Jeff Neumann · 05/19/11 06:13AM

Depending on who you ask, Osama bin Laden might be dead, but he's certainly not forgotten. And just when you thought people were starting to forget, a new tape has surfaced on jihadi websites of the Qaeda honcho praising the so-called "Arab Spring" uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.

The World's Best Mayor Asks: Do I Exist?

Max Read · 08/16/10 08:35PM

Jón Gnarr, the radio host, philosopher and Mayor of Reykjavík, would like to welcome you to his city. And he would like to do so by considering the nature of existence, and the question of "elves and trolls."

Mahatma, Nelson, And Dalai Have Decided To Chill

Hamilton Nolan · 10/02/08 01:58PM

Gandhi is my homeboy. And yours! Let's figure out this ad campaign together. The slogan: "Life is easier if you don't speak up. Debate." Naturally you can see how the whole theme develops from that point. You can't see (I'm willing to bet) what the hell this campaign might be promoting, but hey, that's something you can "debate." After the jump, see Gandhi cookin' out, Mandela chillaxin', and the Dalai Lama ready to hit some serious slopes, screw the politics yo!

You: Just A Bunch Of Brands

Hamilton Nolan · 06/03/08 09:29AM

Rob Walker, who writes the "Consumed" column in the New York Times Magazine every weekend (a sweet "job"), has a new book out in which he draws the sad—but unavoidable—conclusion that we are all a bunch of sheep blindly obeying a world of marketing messages. You think you're able to use your education, morality, and philosophical beliefs to rise above advertising? Ha! That's what all the sheep think. Walker's not a gung-ho Corporate America kind of guy, which makes his thesis that much more depressing. But it's hard to argue with him. Go drown your sorrows in PBR like the hipster that you are. Your chosen brands make up your very soul:

Txt Msg Slang Makes Ads Stpdr 4 U

Hamilton Nolan · 04/03/08 08:40AM

LOL! OMG! GIMME UR $$$! Did u kno that big companies are using txt msg lingo as a way to connect to young, hip consumers such as yourself? They totally r! The technique has the double whammy of not only being incredibly annoying in commercials, but also being incredibly annoying to read about in news stories. Particularly in a stodgy old rag like the Wall Street Journal, which is forced by custom and habit to spend a huge portion of the piece explaining to its audience what all these abbreviations mean. It's the same reason that it's annoying to read NYT stories about hip hop, or Washington Post stories about the latest trends in teen fucking. Just let the youth take care of it amongst themselves! NE wayz, these txt lingo ads are a mixed bag, since the necessity of translation cuts down on the desired cool factor. Prime example: this Cingular ad, depicting a situation that would cause a reasonable person to lock their child in the closet:

Al Gore Realizes Value Of Good Ads Too Late

Hamilton Nolan · 03/31/08 03:54PM

Former wooden President-elect of the United States Al Gore was on 60 Minutes last night, being frumpy and endearing, as is his wont. His new project is promoting a huge $300 million ad campaign by the Alliance for Climate Protection, which is based on the (correct) theory that we Americans are such lazy, brainwashed zombies that we need a shiny, consumer-friendly ad campaign to convince us to stop choking ourselves with carbon dioxide. The 60 Minutes segment showed Gore visiting the ad agency, and even showed a clip of the ad, which is great free media exposure. Too bad its benefit was canceled out by the bitter taste left by the subsequent mutterings of Andy Rooney. Well, let's all hope this ad thing works so we don't die! After the jump, the first ad, which is Gore-like in its earnestness.